The Sedoo Initiative for Children with Special Needs-SECHILD

Unverified non-profit organisation

In Nigeria, it is traditionally believed that a child born with abnormal development is from the spirit world or a snake incarnate and will bring a curse on the family. Many children with disabilities such as down-syndrome, cerebral palsy, and other deformities in some communities are either buried alive or thrown into the river to return to the spirit world and as a service of purification for the parents of such a child. The truth is that these beliefs and practices have more negative effects on the psychological and social status of these parents.

The Sedoo Initiative for Children with Special Needs is registered by the Corporate Affairs Commission under Part “C” of the Companies and Allied Matters Act 1990 as a not-for-profit, community-driven development and non-governmental charitable organization. It is founded to advocate for the rights of children with special needs, provide physio/occupational and other therapies, education, residence care, provide succor for their parents/care givers, professional help and information resource center on therapy, education and support with emphasis on ‘Children with Cerebral Palsy.

In the last 40 years, the prevalence of Cerebral Palsy has risen to well above 2.0 per 1000 live births. Children with Cerebral Palsy and their ignorant families have over the years experienced neglect hence there seems to be no government, NGOs/CBOs or individual who have expressed specific interest in streamlining the special children for care and support services in Nigeria. The initiative is set in making a difference in the lives of children with Cerebral Palsy within the North-Central geographical zone of Nigeria including Benue, Kogi, Nasarawa, Niger and Plateau states.

SECHILD was founded in 2011 by a couple Aondofa and Kawan. Our involvement with Cerebral Palsy children began with the birth of our Daughter Sedoo in 2005 when she was diagnosed with Cerebral Palsy and our Son Aondofa all born with Cerebral Palsy. Sedoo (to whom the organization is named) died at about two years while Aondofa died at about eight years. The absence of professional assistance and support centers for the specific condition of these children have been the driving force behind this work and our inspiration to work for all children and families whose lives are forever changed by Cerebral Palsy to the establishment of the SECHILD Center.

Our program’s goal and is to provide children with special needs the care and items that they need for their daily living and enjoyment that are not currently being covered by any form of medical insurance, nor provided by a community program. Along with this goal, the organisation operates a center located in Light Gold Phase 4 Estate, after Trade Mall Estate, International Airport Road, Abuja which as its registered administrative address as well as for a residence center for the children.
The facility provides children with special needs and their families free counselling, free supplemental therapy, educational support through basic teaching and scholarship program, meet with support groups, for information, and other services. SECHILD believes that together with other community programs and especially parents, we can create awareness among the community about the needs family with special needs children have, and what practical things can be done to support them.

SECHILD’s aims is not only to provide assistance with items needed, but to also create a community of support, encouragement, and guidance through our website and our facility. We are working to develop a healthy relationship with other non-profit and for profit programs in and beyond Nigeria to support children with special needs and better guide families in obtaining the resources available to them. We are funded through agencies’ grants, private foundation grants, endowments and private donations.

SECHILD’s mission is to improve and promote the health and well-being of children with special health care needs and their families. We focus on providing information to families and health care professionals. Our work includes special projects, information, research and evaluation that impact care and support, quality of care, education and family partnerships in health care and support for children with special needs. In doing this, SECHILD hopes to build bridges of partnerships and collaboration with a variety of groups to plan and implement grants and projects that improve care and increase access to support such children and their families.

SECHILD is a comprehensive resource, care, advocacy, physio/occupational therapies and a compassionate voice for all things related to Cerebral Palsy.
SECHILD center is creating a community of support and opportunities for these children, re-orientating those who see them as gifts from the devil; that their indiscriminate killing could be minimized.
The Center provides residence care, rehabilitation, education, physio/occupation therapies, advocacy for children with special needs, counselling and support to their parents/care givers.
It provides professional support and information for children with special needs and is re-orienting people and the community on cultural beliefs.

Management of SECHILD
SECHILD is managed by a Board of Trustees and an administrative management unit made up the President, Executive Director (who are also Trustees) Facilitator of the SECHILD Center. The Board of Trustees of SECHILD has powers to make rules and regulations for the day to day running of the organisation. The Executive Council has powers to implement all policies and decisions of the Board of Trustees.
SECHILD Center is manned by a team of professionals and seasoned personnel, knowledgeable with the intricacies and complexities of caring for special children.

A total of 50 children and their parents/guardians in FCT and environs have benefited from the project.
About 50 children/families are direct beneficiaries of the project and we anticipate that about 100 affected families will benefit indirectly.
Special Child Development Committees are formed with 15 persons as lead members
SECHILD Center is partially equipped and is functional/operational

The overall objective is to reach more partners to access funds and other critical institutional support for development of a bigger Center and a school for care and support for children with special needs in the Federal Capital Territory of Nigeria and its environs providing a conducive well-equipped physical infrastructure to continue offering day-time care and support services (medical and educational) to children with such needs.

We pray to among other things:
a) Construct a bigger Center/School to adequately take care of more children with special needs who are on our waiting list.
b) Through a bigger functional Center, strengthen the capacity of parents/guardians on identifying and assessing educational and medical options for their special children
c) To mobilise resources to provide the necessary infrastructure, supplies and materials needed to ensure every special needs child is achieving their educational potentials
d) Intensify the reach out campaign to government authorities and other stakeholders for support and partnership of the project/SECHILD Center
e) Build knowledge, understanding and skills amongst teachers and parents of the nature and types of Special Educational Needs, their impact on children, and the practical steps required to ensure that these special children achieve their full human development potential
f)Construction of a bigger Center/ School, Procurement of Equipment (assistive devices, wheelchairs, furniture, generator, TV sets/ DVD machines/Satellite TV, laptops and accessories, teaching aids, training materials, toys etc.); recruitment of nurse, psychotherapist and nanny. The Center will include the following facilities: Sensory integration room, fully equipped art room, Computer room, Conference Room/ Lecture / training room, Outdoor play area, Medical room
g) Training workshop on care and support for the special child for parents/care givers (fathers + mothers) of direct beneficiaries with 2 expert facilitators and 2 project coordinators
h) Commitment from government authorities and other stakeholders to provide support services

a. Cultural and religious factors that may be an obstacle if men and women are to be involved in the project
b. Language Barrier (some of the families with special children are not literate)
c. Willingness of the local authorities to collaborate with the organisation
Measures to Counteract the Risks
a. This is mitigated through the advocacy and involvement of the religious and traditional leaders in the project and sensitisation of key stakeholders in rural communities.
b. Language barrier is mitigated through the use of interpreters and some of the SECHILD project staff speak Hausa which is general language used in the local communities around the FCT, they use to mitigate the impact that languages would have created between the Staff and project target groups.
c. The local authorities are involved right from the onset of the project to see the benefits of the project


Year established


Organisation annual cash turnover (in US$ equivalent)

500,000 - 1 million

Participant in relevant networks

Federal Ministry of Women Affairs Federal Ministry of Health National Human Rights Child Rights Protection

Further information

About this organisation

Partnership types

Advocacy of global issues; Doing business with the poor; Project funding

Regions / countries / territories

Africa: Nigeria

Global issues

Disability issues; Human rights